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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/01/20 in all areas

  1. 14 points
    Short on money, but I do have honey. 🙂 Here's a little good news story how a little honey can oil the wheels of industry. A few months back a truck arrived with 2 pallets of bee gear. The driver, a Fiji Indian, saw I did not have a fork lift and was pretty grumpy, thinking he would have to unload by hand. Told me right in my face he should not have to deliver to me, and he wasn't smiling. Anyhow the truck was on a slope and I've done all this before. Backed up the ute to the right place, gave the pallets a push and they slid right off onto the ute. Job done even faster than a fork would have. Driver cheers up a little. Then the main psychological trick, i got a jar of honey and a squeezy honeybear out of the ute and gave it too him. He cracked a big smile and said thanks, my kids will like this, everybody should be like you. Yes, he actually said that. So today a delivery arrives, same guy, with a buddy. I drive down, this time he is all smiles. He says, don't worry, we will unload. I back the ute up and they do the whole thing. I give them a jar of honey each, they are both smiling.
  2. 11 points
    i ran a little "backyard beekeeping" workshop today as a voluntary exercise for a little community project i support. Started by asking everyone why they were interested in beekeeping. That was interesting, not too much "save the bees", plenty of "bees seem really interesting", "honey sounds good", and "fruit tree pollination" type of answers. My immediate out-take from that was that i'd got lucky with the people attending. did a full hive inspection of a hive consisting of a brood box of undrawn frames, a queen excluder, and two fully full honey supers. One honey super was full depth, and one was 3/4. Zero bees in this made up hive Discussed the pros and cons of 3/4 vs full depth. Got everyone to try lifting full honey supers of each. Think i might have imposed some bias there... went through a lot of different gear, including passing around a variety of beesuits - from $10 junk from one-day through to decent stuff. spent a while lighting a smoker. Opened up a hive that i'd prepared yesterday (hence brood frame in top box) with people wearing various beesuits from the spectrum i'd shown earlier... Pulled out a frame of brood and a couple of frames of honey from the top box and passed them around. Extracted the two honey frames we'd just taken from the hive, plus a few more. Jarred up the resulting honey after discussing tutin etc, then everyone who wanted a jar took one = everyone. Loads of good questions by a bunch of onto it people. Think it went fairly well. Nice way to spend an afternoon.
  3. 10 points
    If only all town sections looked like this. I found this today on a lunchtime stroll through a new housing area. Its near an inlet so the sections are built up about 1.5 metres. This is looking up from street level. Every inch of this section that is not house or path is planted- front, back, sides- most very bee friendly. Such a contrast to the bark and a hebe or two gardens surrounding it. The air was full of insect life. Barely any ground was visible, every space was filled. Such a pleasure.
  4. 10 points
    A reality check for those with rose tinted memories. Here is the payout schedule of the NZHPCoop. Taking the reserve bank inflation calculator https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary-policy/inflation-calculator for the top line 0-9mm clover price (Cat 1) and calculating it for today's value using Quarter 2 in the relevant year you get the following values. 1995 $3.39 1996 $4.19 1997 $4.38 1998 $4.60 1999 $4.38 Points also needing consideration: The 0-9mm price was usually paid to very little honey (sometimes none at all, but a "price" was listed), most was in the 2,3 and 4 categories. Retentions of 20% held for 5 years were usual, at which point producers were encouraged to convert the retentions into shares. At times of high interest rates this presented a huge effect. And in the big crash in 1987 prices fell from $1.90 to $0.70 per kilo or $4.06 down to $1.50 in today's money. By comparison, we are in much better shape today.
  5. 9 points
    Kudos to the Police, I got a call from them to see if i owned some particular hives. Some homeless people have set up camp on land right next to my apiary, been there a year or so, they like the bees. For whatever reason which I don't know, the Police where there and saw my hives, so took the trouble to use the rego number to trace them back to me, and give me a call to see if I had put them there or if they had been stolen. I thanked them very much and told them i was impressed they had taken the time to do that. Great to see the Police aware of bee thefts and taking it seriously.
  6. 8 points
    With very little else to do for at least 4 weeks, I thought I might document my system for creating OG strips. I haven't read on the topic since last year, I hope what i do isn't out of date? But they have worked very successfully for me. I have created this method as a small hobbyist, which I hope that other beekeepers with only a few hives can get their head around and follow. I've taken some pics to help with the process. Firstly, i have my own crappy old sewing machine, pretty important. I use Proform Gib tape from Bunnings, 2 1/16 wide, $7 odd. There's lots of little tips that go along with the strips, so feel free to ask me questions. 1. I cut 3 x 600mm lengths. I lay them on top of each other and sew them down the centre. I go for 600mm as it's easy to handle/sew. 2. Fold the strip over, and sew as close as possible to the edge on the other side. You now have a strip that is is approx 27mm wide, and 6 layers of paper. 3. I cut them to 200mm long. I use FD frames, so this is a good length. Change the lengths if you use 3/4. 4. I have a standard Sistema click top tupperware style container - 235 L x 170 W. I put 60 of these strips in here. They are quite snug, but not tight. I mix 300g Glycerine with 200g Oxalic acid. I use a microwave to heat in 30 sec intervals, stirring well each time, until the acid has dissolved. Pour this evenly over the strips. After about 24hrs the mixture will be completely absorbed, and the strips will be tight in the container. They don't feel 'wet', it almost has a waxy feel. 6. My formula is in one of the pics - I do this because I will forget in a years time when I need more :). 6. I use a nail to put holes through the end of the strips. Then I put a toothpick through the end. 7. It hangs between the frames like this. I like this, because i feel the 'staples' that bend over push against the brood walls, whereas I have seen the queen lay on both sides of my strips, which are hanging. A good strong brood box would have 6 of these - this gives the box a 20g dose of Oxalic.. Hope this may be helpful some some other small scale beekeepers who want to experiment with this method of Varroa control. This is my own experimentation, and happy to receive constructive feedback.
  7. 8 points
    Today I went out to check on yesterday's graft and gauge the hit rate... and found a 'ball' of bees on the ground in front of the hive! I gave them a quick poke and found a queen, so got the phone out to see if I could film it. Not brilliant footage, but for an unpredictable event, not bad either!! (feel free to flick through...)
  8. 8 points
    All honey is capable of doing great things to the throat. I’m gonna start having a spoon a honey regular thru the day. It can’t do any harm and it potentially will do much good. I’m not short of the stuff. Reckon all us boomers should do the same! I’m gonna send parcels round the country to whanau tomorrow.
  9. 8 points
    Good points Chris, I've decided to change tack. After finding all those mites i worried about the other hives i treated with these strips, so last night made a bunch of new strips with 8 grams of OA per strip (250 strips with 2 kgs OA & 3 kg's Glycerine, 100% absorbtion so 8 grams acid per strip). Went out this morning and checked 2 of the sites, 64 hives total. They were treated on the 20th february which is 3 weeks ago. The hives that were treated with 3 gram strips, still had quite a few mites, plus had chewed out the strips, in some cases completely. So I've decided that 3 gram strips are a waste of time. The ones treated with 6 gram strips had chewed the strips somewhat, as per the pic. So chewing seems to be related to how much acid is in the strip, the more acid, the less chewing. These hives were much better on the mite count, the general vibe of the hives was good, I only washed 2 hives and was satisfied things are working, one hive 2 mites the other 3, I'm thinking that after 3 weeks of treatment that's fine, probably wouldn't have been any better with Apivar. Depending how much the strips have been chewed I have added from one, to four, of the 8 gram strips, per hive. I am happy things are moving the right direction so will not bother those hives again for a month, hopefully at that time the mite counts will be zero. What I can say thus far anyway, is I found no damage to the bees at all, caused by the OA. Be interesting to see how that aspect is in a months time. Nail on head Jamo, I realised that looking at the hives today. The hives today have a better bee population and have been interacting with the strips, chewing, and presumably walking on them. The sick as hive yesterday had no evidence of any bee activity on the strips they looked just like the day they went in. The bee population of that hive was sparse, and I think they have been avoiding the strips completely. They certainly were while I was looking at the hive. There has been comments from other people that you have to get the OA strips in before the hives are really bad, and perhaps that is the reason.
  10. 7 points
    Sounds pretty much like this:
  11. 7 points
    Something to consider is in a normal brood nest with perhaps 20 k bees there is a lot of bee to strip interaction regardless of what type of strip it is, bayvarol apistan ox/gly etc. Because the ox/gly strips have a somewhat repellent effect there is probably much less bee to strip interaction in a small sparcly populated brood nest. This in my opinion is a limitation with ox/gly strips and could be why a particular strip design/strength may not work in a small week hive but could be fine in a normal one. Probably not saying anything that you don't already know but considering the stories of hive losses from around the country after using various treatments there appears to be much to be learnt/shared yet. How many grams of solution have you got in your week strips vs your other strips? Ps a very pretty picture but glad it's not from one of my hives.
  12. 7 points
    I have a nice story about honey gifting. I used to work in a Council call centre and we would get calls from residents about bees that had swarmed and settled on their properties. We had a list of beekeepers that were interested in collecting them, who were happy for their numbers to be given out. (We also tipped the beekeepers off about bees on council land. We were supposed to log for the pest control contractor to deal with the council land swarms, but always tried to get the bees collected by a beekeeper in the first instance). One guy in particular was happy to attend even if the bees were still swarming, and often available when others on the list could not be reached. He was also the only one that turned up at council with jars of honey for us, to say thanks for getting in touch about swarms. We loved the idea that we were helping to save bees anyway, and he appreciated getting bees - that he put into nucs and shared with new beekeepers.
  13. 7 points
    MPI's manuka standards are complete and utter rubbish. I had some very good manuka last year with a high UMF and it was graded as non-manuka yet mix enough clover with it and it becomes multi floral manuka. Either clover is magical or MPI don't know what the talking about..Interestingly this honey came from plantation manuka with the plants sourced from Northland and they look completely different from our local plants. I know I have said it before but it bears repeating. I have seen some very good lines of manuka fail and I have seen even more lines that I wouldn't dream of calling manuka pass with flying colours. Still I only have 50 years experience with manuka so what would I know. New Zealand beekeepers brought MPI's standards on themselves but MPI could at least have got it right and now they could face up to their mistakes instead of trying to sweep it under the carpet and save face. The new standards haven't had that much effect on me but they have seriously hurt a lot of New Zealand beekeepers for no good reason and the inaction on this matter from the government is shameful.
  14. 7 points
    . Back to topic. Honey prices at our local store ......1kg Pams clover $19. 1/2 kg pot Budget clover $10.50 . We've had some really strong honey sales lately ..... to the roading crew rebuilding the highway at Glenroy. Main Man brings in the empty pots on a morning, drops them off filled the next day. . $12/kg. No charge for delivery.
  15. 6 points
    Measured by happiness😁 I'm not in debt and my family is happy plus I got my class 2 so no more lifting hives soon
  16. 6 points
    Well my circumstances just took a turn for the better, my crop which i thought was bush and unsaleable, but had 3 in 1 tested anyway, has turned out to have a good UMF and good DHA. Not just some of it, but the entire crop. Unfortunately, after the OA staples debacle this spring my crop this time is less than 1/2 what it was last year. But, got to wonder. Could that have something to do with the better UMF? Don't know. Anyhow, feeling a little better about life. 🙂
  17. 6 points
    In the North beekeepers have claimed for years to have manuka honey when there was probably some manuka in it and a whole lot of kanuka. If there is not enough 2-MAP but it is otherwise strong on the MPI markers, then chances are it is more kanuka. They can bleat on about 2-MAP being the problem but the problem is the type of honey they are collecting. The real problem beekeepers with actual manuka have is keeping the C4 level below 7 for the more active honey.
  18. 6 points
    If no joy with that, the other option is to put the queen in an introduction cage, make a nuc from one of the good hives, and introduce your queen to that. Don't have a queen cage? Here's an old beekeepers trick from way back, when every bee truck had a box of matches instead of a lighter. Tip the matches out of the box and put the queen in. Put 2 bees in with her if you are clever enough but if not, no worries. Open the box a tiny smidgen, enough for the queen to poke her tongue out. Put the matchbox between brood frames of the hive she is to be introduced to. The bees will get to know her, and chew the cardboard to let her out.
  19. 5 points
    any inside pics of this James ? hi no its all fresh as, well we have had a bit of luck, cleaned air filter out, not much dirt in it, shortened the fuel pipe a bit it had a slight kink in it, but noticed after it had been sitting a bit a dirty big air bubble appeared in the line, so chanced that bit the bullet put air cleaner and all on gave it a pull and started after 3 pulls which is about normal, little twink on the mix screw and all pretty good just need some wood to try it on now
  20. 5 points
  21. 5 points
    DNA is a very stable molecule and you'd be surprised just how much of it is "floating" around. Labs doing routine DNA testing have to be very careful and pedantic with clean surfaces and equipment as it is super easy to contaminate things otherwise. Part of the issue for labs working with DNA is that many tests rely on amplifying (making many millions of copies of) particular bits of DNA, which makes cleanliness and sterilising super important.
  22. 5 points
    No need for an accountant to apply- its very simple. The business needs to supply their name, IRD number, business number (easily got from the companies office) and contact details. For each employee you supply Name, IRD number and date of birth. The company is then to endeavour to keep the employees on at 80%. heres where to apply for a company. The sole trader one is there too. https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html#null and the money is thru very quickly Stay safe folks
  23. 5 points
    Went back to the very badly mite infested hive today, 19 days after the oxalic strips went in. The bee population had reduced to 3 frames and pretty much all capped brood was dead. I did a mite count and it's running a bit over 100 mites from a 300 bee sample. So on the face of it the mites have not reduced, but considering the bees population has dropped a lot which would concentrate the mites, maybe the total mite population has dropped. Also have to consider that a lot of mites could be trapped in dead brood, so not really sure if the OA strips have had any effect on mite levels in this hive or not. But in anycase the hive would not survive, no point continuing with this hive, I decided they have suffered enough and have given them a frame of good brood with bees and some bayvarol. The pic shows the hive now with the frame of brood and bees added in the middle with a bayvarol strip each side of it. Of the other hives at the site most of them have lower mite numbers than 19 days ago although not as low as I hoped. I've put new OA strips in most of them, but a few hives, i think 5, I have called it quits and put bayvarol in. Although only one of them, other than the really bad hive, was bad enough to need new brood. I've marked the bayvaroled hives on the lid cos I won't bother opening them for a couple of months, but I'll continue to monitor the OA treated hives.
  24. 5 points
    Harvested one of the butternut weeds on the weekend. We might need these for winter vegetables as theres not a brassica plant to be found in the shops over the weekend. Not even seeds... The most bizarre times imaginable.
  25. 5 points
    I just pulled bayvarol out and Apitraz is out of stock until the 1-2 april, should be right Been in my zone this season, been a big year, I've just gotten on with work and this season I pulled more honey then ever before and it made me really look at where I am and how far I've come.
  26. 5 points
    Ha... we did better tha yebutt today... views were’nt as impressive. And we even found the Queen.
  27. 5 points
    I can share a little - Most of it you probably already know. The pandemic has effected sales and distribution into China but to date the rest of world has more than made up the difference in demand for Manuka. Demand into the USA and EU is significantly up and the web traffic researching Manuka has also lifted significantly from what we can monitor. Obviously we will now have to see how and if distribution into these areas will slow or stop as shut down measures and transport restrictions come into action. Domestically the tourist season is non existent so the usual annual spike in domestic travel retail Manuka sales will not transpire. Pharmacy sales are quite obviously strong which for us with PURITI is a boost.
  28. 5 points
    Not at all... we only just started! These are really classy drums. A big thank you to Jason in persevering to get us to buy them .... a quality product in some pretty sharp packaging.
  29. 5 points
    Yesterday I found another afb hive. Also found one late spring. The one before that was over 16 years ago. Both recent finds have only been 1 cell each. It would appear that now is the time to be vidgalent.
  30. 5 points
    At the very least- read the summary. Its worth reading most of the posts as it gives an idea of the development and the changes that happened over the course of time. This is in my opinion still an unproven and experimental treatment and until there are consistent results and understanding of what causes the failures and what contributes to the success, i believe as much information as you can possibly get is the wiser course of action. Within the thread is a calculator for quantities....on page 64. My notes refer to P47 & 48 as having good info re proportions and quantities. Do you just read the cover of a book? or the precis on the back?
  31. 5 points
    The West Coast is 15 km from my property, the Manukau Harbour is within 3 km (Tahiki River), 5 km to Clarks Beach. Whenever there is a good westerly blow we get a layer of salt on everything. I am not surprised that bees will collect salt especially from surface water supplies.
  32. 5 points
    I have seen plenty of blackberry honeydew over the years and it's always very dark and relatively easy to extract. Dry honey can be a problem and what you generally see is the honey from the centre of the cell coming out with a lot left on the cell walls. Forget the 3 km. I have on rare occasion seen bees working honey that could only have come from 5 miles away. I have also seen manuka turn up in apiarys when they have produced nothing but clover for 20 years and were a huge distance from any manuka plants. Bees can do some strange and amazing things at times.
  33. 5 points
    You don’t need to blend multiple sources of “ Manuka” honey to achieve MPI standard because if it’s deemed to be Manuka in the initial testing then it’s already achieved the standard. Blending a mono with a non Manuka is not adulteration it’s blending to meet a standard. many non and multi Manuka honeys are failing on one point and that for a lot of people is 2MAP. blending a high 2MAP with a low 2MAP to get it over the line makes perfect sense. It needs to be remembered that the current standard is something that has been put together by PEOPLE . the original standard they brought out had a 2MAP minimum of 1 for mono PEOPLE changed it to a 2MAP minimum of 5 meaning a whole heap of beekeepers are looking at having to blend to make standard. We hear beekeepers on here saying any standard is better than no standard and I bet you one of my worthless beehives those people are sitting comfortable on their drums of mono and don’t give a fig for others who produce Manuka honey that doesn’t fit the standard some boffins in an office paid came up with.
  34. 5 points
    Here's a bit of free advice for you and every beekeeper producing honey at the moment (and you know what they say about free advice, its worth exactly what you had to pay for it, nothing) but here goes. Just because you produce honey that doesn't mean that someone has to buy it. Just because you have tons of honey in drums in the shed, doesn't mean there will be a market for it latter on. If you can hold on to the farm/homestead/and keep banks at bay by other means then go for it. At some point you may have to make the decision to put a halt to proceedings and stop incurring cost's, but better to do that on your terms and not the banks. Bees can look after them selves with a little help from us until things turn around or at least get better than where we are at the moment. All the best with your extraction and hope it pays dividends for you.
  35. 5 points
    To me, OA /GL strips are only worth doing if a way can be found to do one treatment spring, one treatment autumn, and that's it job done. Because if multiple treatments are required each time or through the year, there is not a cost advantage against the synthetics. And if the extra time to do extra treatments is factored in, probably negative. And after that, the risk to the bees, which does not exist to much extent with synthetics. However a very good reason for pursuing the use of OA, is just that it's another treatment, a safety net against some other treatment failing, it's another option. That may outway any cost disadvantage.
  36. 5 points
    $2.85 was not a price you would have received for North Island honey from the Coop in 1999. For North Island suppliers, grades 3, 4, 7 and 10 was more the norm - $2.70, $2.45, $2.30 and $2.45 respectively. Average $2.48 per kilo. And then you only got 80% of that paid out over that year so $1.98 - the rest 5 years later - if you chose to not support the requests for further capital. Bottom line, $3.04 in today's money. And way better than $1.50 in the 1987 crash. But the 1987 crash was caused by the World market taking a huge correction as the USA dumped 100,000 tonnes (their total annual crop back then) onto the World market at US$0.39 cents per pound down from their US$0.67 per lb subsidy loan scheme price. Today our low prices are a reflection of a slightly reduced World price and our internal manuka bubble aftermath. Until the large surpluses of bulk honey start to move to the export market, there will be no significant improvement. As of the January export statistics, more than 87% of our honey exports are still being sold as manuka. If you're in it for the long haul, you can expect the World market to rise again to around $4-$5 returns. In the mean time honey that is in storage is aging, much "tempered" manuka honey has higher (and increasing) levels of HMF and there is no traditional market for these products against which advice based on history can be offered. We're in uncharted territory.
  37. 5 points
    The catch is, the price is like a leaky boat. The hole starts small and grows. Beekeepers fold and take the low price which then sets the price. So .... get a part time job to tide you through ..... and Hold the Line.
  38. 4 points
    Forgot to mention, since is cold again and bees are stuck in the hives this little rapscallion ( marten) came too close.. Pic from yesterday. 😠
  39. 4 points
    Why we will not see a honey prices going up! I could be wrong but look around you. Panic at the stock markets complete sell out. The whole world is in an full stop .No one can sell something except food there are no goods the shelves are empty. Companies can't pay rent, privat people can't pay rent the housing market will collapse no bank will give a credit as they know they are already broke. This is quite interesting in this connection (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-11/blackstone-urges-its-companies-hurt-by-virus-to-tap-credit-lines). Retail trade does not exist any more Adidas Puma HM all the big retailer announced on friday they don't pay rent anymore. Mass unemployment will follow it started already. The health system will be broke. The precursors are more bad than 1929, and on top of it there is still a virus and a collapsed healthsystem. Manuka Honey is a premium product most people take it because it's trendy. I believe for a long time people will have economic problems and things like Louis Vuitton, Prada and so on will not be that important any more. The world will see a reset and people will be focused on the real things in live.
  40. 4 points
    couple pics of what I have written in my previous post
  41. 4 points
    Last week I dropped 120 jars of honey to a store that sells them this would normally do them around a month. Today they called and said they are out, most of them went out the door in the last 2 days, can I drop some more. So I'll be doing a bigger delivery tomorrow. So far, the only effect Covid 19 has had on me personally, is increased sales, cheaper diesel, less traffic and easier parking.
  42. 4 points
    I actually got some Mono this year and now my bank account would love to see it sold, maybe if I survive this covid bug I'll have some cash in hand by the end of the year.
  43. 4 points
    I've kind of got Apiweb sorted now. I have 2 screens on my desk so have Google Earth running on one, Apiweb on the other. Can zoom in on GE and put the mouse on exactly where the bees are and the coordinates show on the bottom of the screen, then enter them into Apiweb on the other screen. BTW for anyone wanting to do that, the standard format GE uses for GPS coordinates are different to what Apiweb and the AFBPMP use. So to change the default in GE, open GE, click TOOLS, OPTIONS, 3D View, then where it says Show Lat/Long click the Decimal Degrees button, then where it says Units of Measurement make sure the System default button is activated. Go to the bottom and click APPLY, and GE will now show the GPS coordinates in the needed format for Apiweb.
  44. 4 points
    Real bloke ... no gloves.
  45. 4 points
    Along with the ‘hand sanitiser’ theme , I too have been working hard to come up with a product suitable to fight said virus . By some small miracle it actually tastes remarkably similar to Drambue .
  46. 4 points
    yes this is true. However as discussed by people more experienced than me in other threads. NZ does already buy far more than it eats. Where does it go? What has been highlighted is that the tourists and daigou trade purchase about 2/3 of domestic honey sold and they export it home in their suitcases without any RMP nor MPI standard required for that. They also would have been laughing about how cheap it was. So those people selling locally will likely see a 67% reduction in their sales; regardless of price. That is pretty bad news for anyone depending on it! Brief summation of the other thread was that figures for annual consumption per capita for NZ are way higher than other countries and tourists was the reason given. So, I can only expect domestic sales to plummet badly. For RMP export beekeepers it is likely demand will go up accordingly, assuming a zero sum game and that the supply chain is working and high quality honey is seen as beneficial. So that's good news for anyone depending on export. Distribution is however a big "if" at the moment. Meanwhile, I believe a retail website run by a recognised institution and supported by a variety of different beekeepers could help the situation. I don't know what the legality is of posting a single 500g container of honey overseas, but presumably each country has their own rules and most commercial beekeepers do already have RMP and so there might be an entirely legal way for consumers overseas to buy some of this honey retail and in doing so cut out nearly all of the ticket clippers (?). This might provide some competitive pressure on some packers to up their game. This might provide a win for beekeepers and for end consumers that is entirely above board. DHL and others would be interested in such a contract. A co-op doesn't have to buy your honey, but everyone could still co-operate aliexpress style. By the way, I am not registered for NP1 nor RMP and I have never sold a drop of honey. I have no agenda on this, I'm just saying that is how I see it as an interested observer...
  47. 4 points
    Of last seasons crop I have sold the manuka to a packer which was just over a ton, the rest was bush, all was direct sold to the public or shops and have sold around 7 tons thus far, still got a bit to go but because this seasons crop has all been manuka I'll be glad of some last seasons bush to keep the customers happy till i see what i get next season. How I sold it? Wasn't greedy, gave lots away free to get shops etc started, and have some wonderful friends who have helped out massively, distributing it to their own networks of friends. A bunch of people who sell at markets have topped up their own supplies with honey from me also. I don't have a website or any way to advertise other than word of mouth. Something i believe about marketing is never negative advertise, ie, don't run down someone else in the same industry to plug your own sales. Such advertising is always bad for an industry as a whole, it creates public awareness that all may not be right and that rubs off on the whole industry, good and bad players alike. That, and strong personal relationships, which I try to have with both customers, and landowners. . I only have at this time 320 hives as a retirement hobby, so do not have the big tonnages of honey that the bigger beekeepers do, which would be impossible to sell direct to the consumer, unless some marketing system is set up such as online sales, etc. Even then, it's just not possible for the bigger guys.
  48. 4 points
    Saw 'Honeyland' at the Rialto last night, a Macedonian docudrama about traditional beekeeping versus fly by night unsustainable keeping. Amazing photography, took three years to make can't recommend it highly enough.
  49. 4 points
    Most Sunday nights we have a planning meeting to shape out the weeks work load . Most weeks it works out alright. Some weeks, like this week , after a couple of days topping up on Covid 19 antibodies ....it gets a bit heated. Next week we crank up the extracting plant ....and this is where the conversation got heated. The plant got cleaned down at the end of last season. Pulled apart, hot water washed and fixed ready for next time around. Prior to cranking up again this year we will hot water wash everything again and double check we have all the paper work in line with the regulations, and this means Harvest Decs that record the date and location of where everything came from to tie it in with run batches and drum numbers. And when you have honey stacked up on pallets in the shed that was taken off a few weeks ago, or you have hives that have been moved with crop on and then taken off a few weeks later ..... it all makes for an interesting traceability route. And then at the end of the day you have 200 boxes of honey end up in the bulk tank that came from half of the South Island and go into a dozen or so drums ..... traceability seems to be a bit of a hit and miss affair. Many years ago when all these systems were brought in , the Mantra was it will give us access to markets that are prepared to pay ..... So tomorrow at 7.30 am I'll double check the paperwork , push Green for Go, and hope like heck someone rewards me for my labour.
  50. 4 points
    Up and gone before sun up this am and out to a spot. Took a bunch of Q's with me as intended to Re-Q by making up nucs and papering them on next visit. Instead I was greeted by the best Autumn brood I've seen in a few years, solid brood in hive after hive and only a couple will be replaced, still made up a bunch of nucs. Got hungry on the return and had a snack, the bee dog decided to check out the remains and got his head stuck in the box. Told the story at home and re-baited the box with his favourite sausage, and enjoyed his replay.....
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